The Last week in Lighthouse

I’ve been sat at the desk where I am currently typing this since February 25th. At the time it was the only desk that didn’t either have a person or a dozen electronic devices strewn across it. I didn’t think much about it as it was meant to be temporary.

Seven months have since passed. I’ve gone from a brief internship that saw me help out with some conferences (Responsive Day Out, UX London), to a short freelance contract to now being a full time member of the Clearleft team. We’ve also seen the departure of Harry and Josh (I am assured this is not connected to my existence in the mix) and welcomed Viviana, Sophie, Tessa and most recently Graham.

I’ve done some minor things to this desk. I put a 4-bar mains adapter on it because I got pissed off one morning having to dig under the desk to plug in my mains charger for my Macbook (I bought a new one and the plug is now the thickness of a wafer mint and I can’t get any purchase on it), I’ve done away with the random assortment of scrap paper, two boxes for business cards (both were empty) were binned. I introduced my cow pencil case full of Pro-Markers both grey scale and colour and on a few occasions even got out the polish.

Around me is a wonderful group of people to work with, most of whom have been here far longer than me and will undoubtedly be having strange feelings of their own over the next few days as the realisation sets in, which I think today is starting to that on Friday, Clearleft will no longer live inside Lighthouse, 28 Kensington Street.

Even as a newcomer, this is quite a significant thing. 4 Years ago, I sat in one of the meeting rooms downstairs and enjoyed a day workshop with Richard Rutter and Natalie Down on CSS3. This was the home of Clearleft. I hand delivered a job application because I knew where it was, I knocked on the window and went to Pompoko with Josh Emerson before watching Mark Perkins do a talk at asyncjs. It’s just always been there.

No, of course it’s not comparable to CBGB, or the Viper Room, but for some I think that the Clearleft move is going to hold significance.

As of Monday we will all live in a new home, 68 Middle Street. The renovation has been going all year and as of this morning when I popped in, finishings were being done ready for the delivery trucks to roll in on Saturday and unload.

Frustrating for me, this is the second significant Clearleft event this year that I will miss after falling ill (which I still haven’t fully recovered from) before dConstruct, not only did I miss the conference, but it meant I also missed the official moving in party. So today is my last day in Lighthouse.

It will take time to get acclimatised to 68 Middle St and I am prepared for that along with the extra 15 minutes walking, but hey, that is probably no bad thing for me. I wont miss the curious choice in scented hand soaps, but there are things I’ll miss about Lighthouse such as the openness here between all the tenants – nobody has a closed door if somebody is in and we’ve regularly had visits whether it’s people wanting to use the device lab, ask for advice or to hack onto our wifi. I’m sure we’ll maintain this culture as we become the Landlord to a new group of fantastic tenants – and friends of Clearleft.

We’ve been running a seating arrangement wiki on the whiteboard for a month which has not seen many changes. I’ve enjoyed sitting next to Jess, she’s been a huge help from day one. Across from me has been Ben and Paul who are the ideal counterparts and perfect for bouncing thoughts off.

I look forward to returning next week, finding out what does and doesn’t work, whether Aizlewood has sabotaged my computer and critically where we’re going for lunch.